galaxy map information modes/overlays

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eleazar
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#76 Post by eleazar » Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:14 pm

What are the issues/complications which increasing the minimum star-distance? I'm not so much concerned with the zoom levels in the previous post, but at every level the minimum distance is the constraint on how much information we can display at all levels. I like the fact that there is variety in distance, but IMHO we could make a more useable display if we increased the minimum.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#77 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:47 pm

When you say "increasing the minimum star-distance", does it mean anything different from the effect of making the furthest-out zoom level less far out? Or equivalently, removing the two or three furthest-out zoom levels?

If yes, please explain.

If no, and you just want more space between the displayed stars, perhaps you should use a simpler UI design at the closest-in zoom levels? We don't need to show all the information of medium-level zooms when fully zoomed out, and probably can't, because the stars will be too close together when zoomed out that far.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#78 Post by eleazar » Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:55 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:When you say "increasing the minimum star-distance", does it mean anything different from the effect of making the furthest-out zoom level less far out? Or equivalently, removing the two or three furthest-out zoom levels?

If yes, please explain.

If no, and you just want more space between the displayed stars, perhaps you should use a simpler UI design at the closest-in zoom levels? We don't need to show all the information of medium-level zooms when fully zoomed out, and probably can't, because the stars will be too close together when zoomed out that far.
By "minimum star-distance", i'm talking about they way they are created, not they way they are displayed. I.E. when the universe generator is semi-randomly placing stars, i presume there's something that checks the distance with other stars, and if that distance is not above a certain minimum distance, then the generator doesn't place the star, but tries again.

I'm not interested in increasing the over-all distance between stars, but in preventing the closest stars from being quite so close. Or to look at it another way, I don't want more space between stars, but i'm interested in having a more equal (by no means completely equal) distribution of space between stars, because, like i said, it the closest possible star distance that determines what can be put on screen, even if 80% of the stars have ample room.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#79 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:09 am

The galaxy generating routines could be altered, but doing so would likely create some problems and would involve editing code that hasn't been touched for years. I'm not willing to do that unless it's really necessary. If there's a specific galaxy shape that produces stars much closer together than the others and causing problems for UI designs that work for all other galaxy shapes, then I could have a look at it, though.

If this is an issue that occurs for most galaxy shapes, then the solution is to modify your UI designs so that the stars appear further apart at a given star icon size, or equivalently, smaller for a give distance between their centres.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#80 Post by eleazar » Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:43 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:The galaxy generating routines could be altered, but doing so would likely create some problems and would involve editing code that hasn't been touched for years. I'm not willing to do that unless it's really necessary.
OK.


Since this info is scattered, i should explain what features i'm trying to fit in the galaxy map. Though of course all features won't be present at all zoom levels.
  • Star Type (duh)
    Starname
    Identify all owners of planets in a system better than with multi-colored text starnames
    A sitrep flag
    A user-definable flag
    A ship-yard indicator (edit: was "icon")
    empire flags(maybe)
    easy distinction of staying, leaving, and outside fleets
    Some sort of way to visually display different stats about a system.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#81 Post by pd » Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:57 pm

Some of these features haven been "touched" previously. The shipyard for example might not need an icon. I believe an underline is sufficient and would'nt clutter as much as icons would, especially considering there will be flags as well. Anyway, I'm looking forward to what you come up with.

You've previously mentioned that you're running out of space easily at the smallest zoom levels. I'm wondering, if it is necessary to display stars at those levels at all. At least for systems with a colony, filling the holes in those rings might be an alternative. We would gain some more space and therefor could maybe display more than one quality(different populations/races/outputs etc).

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#82 Post by eleazar » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:28 pm

pd wrote:Some of these features haven been "touched" previously. The shipyard for example might not need an icon. I believe an underline is sufficient and would'nt clutter as much as icons would, especially considering there will be flags as well.
I forgot about the underline idea, that could very well be all that's needed. My previous post edited.
pd wrote:You've previously mentioned that you're running out of space easily at the smallest zoom levels. I'm wondering, if it is necessary to display stars at those levels at all. At least for systems with a colony, filling the holes in those rings might be an alternative. We would gain some more space and therefor could maybe display more than one quality(different populations/races/outputs etc).
As an alternate display i think it could be profitable to cover up the star with a graph (like this for instance), but by default i think we need to see the star, otherwise it becomes rather hard to tell which star is which, since at those levels we don't have the star name labels. In other words if you are at close zooms and then you zoom out and quickly loose the names and the star colors, there won't be much to help you keep your place. IMHO the stars become too anonymous.

EDIT: On second thought, maybe we can put this to partial use...
If, for instance, Zoom levels 1 and 2 are smaller than anyone ever need use, i.e. if the largest galaxy at those zoom levels can comfortable fit all at once in our minimum screen size(1024x768), then we shouldn't be inconveniencing the player, if we further simplify zoom L1 and L2. If he wanted that info he can stay at a closer zoom.

Can someone measure the pixel dimensions of a maximum sized galaxy at zooms 1-4? The actual edges of the galaxy should be much more obvious when you select the "Irregular" or "cluster" galaxy shape. I forget which one, but the galaxy looks like a big square, and is thus easy to measure.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#83 Post by pd » Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:29 am

Image

This is the smallest zoom step. If I zoom in one step, the galaxy doesn't fit on the screen anymore.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#84 Post by eleazar » Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:11 pm

pd wrote: This is the smallest zoom step. If I zoom in one step, the galaxy doesn't fit on the screen anymore.
Thanks.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#85 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:22 pm

Is this thread finished, or is there more map design to be done that's just been forgotten about?

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#86 Post by eleazar » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:15 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:Is this thread finished, or is there more map design to be done that's just been forgotten about?
I vaguely remember there was a hang-up in some related thread.

Looking at my PSD i never really figured out exactly what i wanted to do with the close zooms, since there's a lot more info to juggle. Also i think there was some contention about how to display fleets at different zooms.

I do still stand by my previous post in this thread with the graphic, as far as it goes. With the limited space there's really not much else that can be done without rendering a populated galaxy illegible.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#87 Post by pd » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:06 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:Is this thread finished, or is there more map design to be done that's just been forgotten about?
It's far from finished. There is even a task on the Graphics Work page, that deals with reviewing and developing the ideas from this thread. Why do you ask? Are the plans to implement some of what has been shown? I could make this thread a priority in this case.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#88 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:14 pm

pd wrote:Why do you ask? Are the plans to implement some of what has been shown? I could make this thread a priority in this case.
I was just wondering.

I don't generally plan too far ahead about what I'll work on... I've got a to-do list, mostly full of big behind-the-scenes game mechanics stuff, but if I have the urge to work on something in the GUI, it's good to know what designs are finished and ready to go.

I'm not rearing to go on this at the moment, so don't change your plans or priorities.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#89 Post by eleazar » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:56 am

OK, after reexamining the stuff in this thread and the fleet display thread,
as i see it there should be 3 basic settings for overlays:
  • 1) none (off)
    2) ring
    3) circle
overlays.jpg
overlays.jpg (132.32 KiB) Viewed 986 times
(examples at zoom level 1)


A drop-down menu selects the type of information you want to see: population, industry, infrastructure etc in either ring or circle view mode.

"Ring" allows you to see information as well as the star. This produces a busier effect, and it's not so easy to compare fine shades of value, but it's much easier to keep your place in the galaxy.

"Circle" has a simpler, clearer presentation, but in order to make that possible the stars are greyed out making it harder to keep your position in a more anonymous galaxy.

Both the circle and ring may be divided up into segments depending on the type of information displayed. The thickness of the ring, and the size of the circle is one of the ways the quantity is displayed.

The maximum diameter is the same for ring and circle at any given zoom level. Fleet and star names are placed just outside this max diameter so these things don't have to jiggle when overlays are toggled.

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Re: General GUI re-stylization

#90 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:03 am

EDIT: moved from after this post in General GUI restylization.
eleazar wrote:Shipyards are IMHO too important not to be always visible on the galaxy map case, and can be indicated by underlining the system name and possibly an icon. There are of course other things that need special modes to visualize them.
I'd prefer icons for indicating shipyards or empire capitals in systems. An icon can be given a tooltip to indicate its meaning. An icon can indicate any number of things, but an underline could only be used to indicate one thing, and "shipyard here" doesn't seem like the most obvious meaning... (if any meaning of underlining would be obvious...)

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